Bideford suffered their fifth straight defeat in Evo-Stik Division One South this afternoon (Saturday), going down 1-0 at home to Thatcham Town.

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

The Robins were unable to stop the rot at the Sports Ground, with a speculative effort from Shane Cooper-Clark seven minutes before half-time the difference between the two sides.

Bideford pushed for an equaliser in miserable conditions, and frustrations boiled over late in the game as James Mayne was sent off after a challenge on Curtis Angell.

The result means Bideford drop down to 15th in Division One South.

Cooper-Clarke’s effort was a body blow for Bideford, who had looked the better side over the course of the half.

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

After a cagey first 15 minutes the Robins were inches away from breaking the deadlock. Sean Downing’s shot from 25 yards had keeper Chris Rackley beaten, striking the inside of the post before bouncing back into the grateful arms of the goalkeeper.

Mayne perhaps should have broke the deadlock four minutes later, but when Ben Carter’s free kick across the box somehow made its way through to the Bideford defender, the ball ricocheted over the bar.

Downing struck the woodwork again 10 minutes before the break after going on a driving run past Stuart Cattell. After going one on one with Rackley, the Bideford forward’s shot from a tight angle came off the outside of the near post.

Two minutes later and it was the visitors who were in front. Moore came out of his penalty area to clear the ball, but his effort went straight to Cooper-Clarke. The Thatcham man’s effort from 10 yards inside the Bideford half went back over the scrambling Bideford defence and into the net.

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

The second period began in much the same manner as the first. Bideford’s latest addition Joel Randall went close to equalising just shy of the hour, but the Exeter City development loanee couldn’t shape his shot on target from inside the area.

The hosts also came close to getting an equaliser in similar fashion to how they went behind, with Ben Carter’s long ball bouncing over Rackley but just wide of the goal.

Despite pushing forward, Bideford seemed to labour in the conditions. Downing almost rescued a point in the final minute of the 90, heading down a corner from Carter to produce a good save from Rackley.

With the game all but lost, Bideford were reduced to 10 men as the game went into the fourth minute of stoppage time. After going in late on Angell, Mayne’s reaction was what referee Craig Whaley was unhappy with, giving the centre back a straight red card.

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford: Moore, Sampson, Palmer, Downing, Mayne, Down, Carter, Heeney (Hancox 67), Turner, Ricketts, Randall (Squire 74).

Subs not used: Gregory, Haynes, Roberts.

Thatcham Town: Rackley, Alexander, Angell, Melledew, Miller, Cattell, Coyle (Elliot 82), Moran, Cooper-Clarke (Helmore 79), Jeacock (Carrington 90+1), Stanley.

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Thatcham Town in Evo-Stik Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart